Featured Poem: Wellfleet

By Boomer Pinches

THE PAST IS KINDLING.
We are plagiarists of the unwritten
And the present keeps hanging around
Like a girl I owe money to.
The October beaches are quiet
Without you. This morning drifts
Of sand hissed along the shore
Like mist, the wind feeling out its own shape,
And I thought about the words
I would use to re-create it for you
Someday.
We are only ever blueprints for shadows.
The crab-shack woman shyly dabs
At a pimple—kids jostle for position
At the face-paint stand—geese chevron across
The sky—one by one these things are gone
Or maybe I am gone from them.
I miss rubbing the sand
From your calves
While you read about some celebrity
Heartbreak or other, those moments
When you were barely aware of me at all.
You said I fall in love like someone
Trying to uninvent the wheel
But I went and did it anyway.
I’m doing it still.
I took on the hours and days
Of this world because it was the only place
That you were possible
And when it casts me off
My last thoughts will be for you
Alone and it matters not at all
If you are there to hear them.
Stars wait unseen for the sky to fall
Away. Up and down the stippled coast
The darkened houses shelter our absences
From the contingencies of night—this night
Into which I am writing a blue dawn
Of shadowed sands, the new light
Rediscovering the waves and our faces
Salt-streaked and painted, starred white and gold
With the careless grace of children.

Featured Poem: Tempus

By Boomer Pinches

 

ANY MOMENT NOW I ran away from home. It was only my home
the way an ocean is only water. Most of the days passed me by

but a few of them I had to carry myself. The villagers talk of phantom
limbs, those parts of you gone missing that you can still feel. But do they

still feel you? Shrugs, embarrassed sighs. The village is practically a city
by now and I’m miles away. Any moment now the clock is invented.

Life becomes a countdown and anything you love can be held
against you. My first night on the island I counted stars in the basement

of a museum, with only broken statues for comfort. Any moment now my wife
will be born to parents who hardly recognize her. Everyone else is already

accounted for, everyone else is virtually family, though not my family. All across
the fulvous plain, they await their purpose. The fires in the hills signify nothing

more than their own wonder at how readily the world around them burns.
Cinereous earth, cinereous sky. The heat you feel is just matter fleeing itself.

All the next morning I speak with phantoms who mistake me for their home.
I count down the days until the villagers move into the museum. Children

will press their faces up against the glass to have a closer look at the world
as it was without them, they will elbow each other out of the way and warm

the pane with their breath and wonder how it was we were ever anything
but these terrarium creatures frozen in lament. Here is my promise, wife:

I will recognize you.

 

Via Narrative Magazine